Olives Reportedly Reopening in Spring
Todd English Enterprises has been mum on the fate of the City Square restaurant, which has been closed since a May 2010 fire.
It’s going on nine months since Olives restaurant closed after a May 2010 fire, leaving a dead center, so to speak, in City Square. And it will be a few more months still before Todd English’s original enterprise in Charlestown reopens.
Despite appearances from the outside, people are working in the restaurant. An employee answered the phone there last week and said crews were working to open Olives again this spring. When this spring? She couldn’t say — only that spring was the target date.
Patch has tried to confirm this with Todd English Enterprises in New York City, but repeated calls to Lindsey Valdez, brand manager at the company, have gone unreturned.
In a recent Dishing post (the Boston Globe’s food blog), Globe food writer Devra First reported that she spoke with English shortly after the fire in May. “[He] told me by phone that he planned to renovate the restaurant, refashion it as a more casual establishment, and rename it,” she wrote.
But the employee who answered the phone at Olives last week said it would reopen under the same name.
For those of you who don’t remember, the Olives fire last May was attributed to a grease buildup. Boston Fire Department officials said it ignited by cooking gases in the kitchen and it caused an estimated $200,000 in damage. The fire was the third for Olives: in 2001 a grease fire in ducts shut down the restaurant and in 2007 it happened again.
Olives opened in Charlestown in 1989 and had served as English’s flagship restaurant for years. (He opened Figs on Main Street about five years later.) It seems strange, then, that the restaurant has lingered in a state of limbo for the better part of a year — in a prime location for Charlestown businesses, no less. Local merchants and restaurateurs have been left to wonder about the fate of the City Square real estate and the Olives enterprise.
Diane Grant, director of the Charlestown Business Association, said she’s reached out to Olive Group officials in the Navy Yard on more than one occasion and has been told the restaurant will reopen “soon.” But nothing more.
“Olives has been a vital part of our local restaurant scene,” Grant said. “It is important to keep the lines of communication open with the fellow businesses and residents in the neighborhood about future plans.”